Jenson Button says it is essential he gets up to speed with his new surroundings at McLaren in order to get his championship defence off to a good start.
New team mate Lewis Hamilton revealed the pair will meet up at Woking later this month but haven’t seen each other since Button’s shock McLaren switch was revealed in November.
Here’s the full Q&A supplied by McLaren:
You?óÔé¼Ôäóre now officially a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ how does it feel?
?óÔé¼?ôObviously, it?óÔé¼Ôäós fantastic to be part of one of the most famous names in Formula 1. But it?óÔé¼Ôäós also exhilarating: I?óÔé¼Ôäód been at the same team for seven years so this is a big cultural change for me, and something that I?óÔé¼Ôäóm really looking forward to.
?óÔé¼?ôThere are a lot of new faces to remember and lots of names to learn ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ and that?óÔé¼Ôäós all got to be done alongside the engineering and limited testing we have ahead of the 2010 season. But I?óÔé¼Ôäóm loving every minute of it ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ the atmosphere within the team feels fantastic, and I?óÔé¼Ôäóve already started to feel at home here. I can?óÔé¼Ôäót wait to get out in the fantastic new car the team has built for me!?óÔé¼?Ø
Where do your priorities lie over the next four weeks?
?óÔé¼?ôHaving no testing until the first week of February is something of a mixed blessing ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ it gives me the time to really get to know the guys at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and to properly integrate myself into the team ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ which I am absolutely committed to doing ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ but, equally, it?óÔé¼Ôäós another month without any running in the car ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ and getting miles under my belt will be crucial ahead of the first race.
?óÔé¼?ôSo, it?óÔé¼Ôäós only natural that there will be a lot of factory-based work for the next few weeks. I?óÔé¼Ôäóll be starting to work with my engineers, who are a fantastic bunch of guys. But, honestly, I really cannot wait to get out to Valencia and get my first run in the MP4-25 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ I think that?óÔé¼Ôäós when it will finally sink in that I?óÔé¼Ôäóm a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver.?óÔé¼?Ø
2010: a new year ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ how are you planning the successful defence of your world title?
?óÔé¼?ôObviously, my aim is to keep the number one on my car for as long as possible! But, at the moment, it?óÔé¼Ôäós a little bit too early to start talking about the world championship. The backbone of any title challenge is built on good preparation, hard word, focus and dedication.
?óÔé¼?ôAnd the hard work starts here ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ the next 10 weeks could well largely dictate the destiny of the 2010 world championship, so it?óÔé¼Ôäós crucial that we start testing very strongly and that we never let up.
?óÔé¼?ôI?óÔé¼Ôäóm more motivated than ever to work with the team and my engineers, and I?óÔé¼Ôäóve extremely positive for the year ahead.?óÔé¼?Ø
How have you been preparing for the 2010 season?
?óÔé¼?ôI?óÔé¼Ôäóve been mainly training and trying to keep fit. At the end of the 2009 season, I promised myself that I would aim to be 100 per cent fit and focused on the new year, so I?óÔé¼Ôäóve been working hard. When I?óÔé¼Ôäóm not training, I?óÔé¼Ôäóve just been at home in Geneva, preparing for Christmas and the new year.?óÔé¼?Ø
Are you looking forward to trying the new car for the first time?
?óÔé¼?ôYes, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm excited and can?óÔé¼Ôäót wait to see it and test it. Hopefully, it?óÔé¼Ôäós going to be great for our team next year. I?óÔé¼Ôäóll be working closely with my engineers and the team to make sure we all hit the ground running with the new car.
?óÔé¼?ôYou can never take competitiveness for granted in Formula 1 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ we saw that last year ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ so our common goal has to be to make MP4-25 a winning proposition as quickly as possible. Only once we?óÔé¼Ôäóve achieved that can we start looking at winning races and then, eventually, the world championship.?óÔé¼?Ø
Have you had much of a chance to speak to Jenson yet?
?óÔé¼?ôNot yet, unfortunately. Our paths haven?óÔé¼Ôäót really crossed since he was announced at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes back in November. We?óÔé¼Ôäóve both been to MTC for our seat fittings ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ but they were on different days. The first time we?óÔé¼Ôäóll start working together is later this month, when we?óÔé¼Ôäóll both be at Woking together, then we?óÔé¼Ôäóll have the launch and the first test. We?óÔé¼Ôäóll be sharing the pre-season testing equally, and it will be important to keep a crossover of information between us to make sure we are both pulling in the right direction.?óÔé¼?Ø
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